Pregart Co-Principal Investigator, Professor Eleni Aklillu – winner of the Donald Mackay Medal

Professor Eleni Aklillu, Pregart Co-Principal Investigator and Professor in Tropical Pharmacology and research group leader at Department of Laboratory Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious RSTMH Donald Mackay Medal.

The medal is presented for outstanding work in tropical health and awarded annually by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) and the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.

Eleni Aklillu is Professor in Tropical Pharmacology and research group leader at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She received a Bachelor of Pharmacy and MSc in Biochemistry from Addis Ababa University, and a PhD in molecular genetics from Karolinska Institutet. Her research focuses on clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenetics with special emphasis on how to optimize treatment and/or prevention of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. She investigated impacts of host-genetic factors, drug interactions, coinfections and comorbidities on drug safety and efficacy. Her research contributes to understanding treatment challenges and provide evidence-based recommendations to revise treatment guidelines and strategies.

Professor Aklillu has received several major external research grants as principal investigator and trained 20 PhD students from sub-Saharan Africa. She co-authored 130 peer-reviewed publications. Aklillu is a member of the Swedish research council committee for development research, a fellow of Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh and the African Academy of Sciences, and a former member of Strategic Advisory Committee for European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

“I am truly honored and delighted to receive the 2020 Donald Mackay Medal of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. It is the result of our extensive clinical pharmacology research on the treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and various neglected tropical diseases. It is encouraging and overwhelming to have my work recognized in this way, and I would like to acknowledge the hard work of everyone in my research group and my collaborators in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sweden during the last two decades” says Eleni Aklillu.

 


TRAINING FOR RESEARCH STAFF FROM PREGART TRIAL SITES IN UGANDA

PREGART project has successfully organized and conducted a 2-day Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training from 6th to 7th July 2020 and 1-day Protocol training on 8th July 2020 at Mildmay Hospital Lubowa. GCP training was offered by Mrs Mariam Nakitto and Dr. Balikuddembe Robert both GCP specialists from the Clinical Trials Unit, School of Public Health, Makerere University. The protocol training was offered by Dr. Jackson Mukonzo, Ugandan Country PI PREGART.
A total of 28 and 68 people was in attendance for the GCP and Protocol training respectively. These people were a representation of both the PREGART coordination office, Makerere University and the PREGART data collection site, the Mildmay Hospital.
A diverse expertise of fields was represented in both of these trainings spanning from nursing officers, medical officers, researchers, laboratory technologists and scientists, administrators, PhD fellows, gynaecologists, pharmacists, paediatricians and counsellors.
Both of these trainings in need equipped all participants in attendance with knowledge and skills on how to implement the PREGART clinical trial. However for in depth understanding of the protocol, an extended protocol training will be conducted at individual unit levels i.e. specific training for the laboratory person(s), specific training for the pharmacy personnel, specific training for the clinicians, specific training for the counsellors etc. These will be organized over the next 2 weeks.


Second round training for research staff from PREGART trial sites in Ethiopia

PREGART Project has conducted the second round training on Good clinical Practice (GCP), Good clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) and Protocol familiarization for research staff from different PREGART trial sites in Ethiopia from March 08 to March 11, 2020 at Bishoftu, 45 kilometers South of Addis Ababa. Forty-five (45) trainees including obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatrician, clinical nurses, laboratory technologists, pharmacists, and adherence supporters participated in this training. At the end of the training, selected trainees with different responsibilities in the clinical trial demonstrated the clinical flow of the trial as a role-play. Trained HIV positive adherence support mothers were involved as trial participants in this role-play. The activity plan and other issues relevant for the successful implementation of the project has also been discussed. The project has trained and certified a total of eighty (80), including the first round, research staffs with different trial role form ten research site hospitals.

This will help the project to have adequate human resources throughout the trial implementation despite there is staffs turnover.

 


First round training for research staff from PREGART trial sites in Ethiopia

PREGART Project has conducted the first round training on Good clinical Practice (GCP), Good clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) and Protocol familiarization for research staff from different PREGART trial sites in Ethiopia from February 28 to March 02, 2020 at Bishoftu, 45 kilometres south of Addis Ababa. Thirty-five trainees including obstetricians/gynecologists, pediatrician, clinical nurses, laboratory technologists, pharmacists, adherence supporters, project coordinators and data manager participated in this training. At the end of the training, selected trainees with different responsibilities in the clinical trial demonstrated the clinical flow of the trial as a role-play. Trained HIV positive adherence support mothers were involved as trial participants in this role-play. The activity plan and other issues relevant for the successful implementation of the project has also been discussed.

 

 


PREGART presentation in Uganda

After the official launch in Ethiopia in September, the PREGART clinical trial was also officially presented in Uganda on 23 January 2020 at the Protea Hotel Marriot in Kampala.
The launch was preceded by an investigators' meeting and was followed by a site visit at one of the facilities where the trial will be implemented, the Mildmay Hospital Uganda.

Read and download programs and speakers' presentations:

 

Visit in a Lab

 

 

Meeting in Uganda


Kick-off meeting

PREGART project kick-off and investigators meeting in Addis Abeba on 14-16 September 2019.

Read and download the Report:

Read and download programs and speakers’ presentations:

See the media gallery and know the  members of the project. Watch the video presentation of the project.

PHOTOGALLERY


PREGART partners

The trial will be implemented in Ethiopia and Uganda by research teams based at Karolinska Institute (KI), Stockholm, Sweden; Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Rome, Italy; Hawassa University (HU), Hawassa, Ethiopia and Makerere University (MU), Kampala, Uganda – PREGART Consortium will be established by the four Universities. Know PREGART partners.


PREGART starts!

Safety and efficacy of Dolutegravir and EFV400 for pregnant and breastfeeding women: a randomized non-inferiority clinical trial. Expected outcomes include generating scientific evidence to support the use of EFV400 and DTG for pregnant and breastfeeding women, generating evidence on the safety of EFV400 and DTG for pregnant and breastfeeding women. PK/PD/PGx data will also be generated to further support the dosing of EFV and DTG during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Read project presentation and work packages.